It may not be your grandmother’s Christmas sweet potato casserole, but the sweet potatoes you can buy on the street (the guys with the steaming metal barrels) are pretty tasty — perfect for a wintry Shanghai evening.
The price of sweet potatoes (bái shǔ – 白薯) is somewhere around 2.5rmb per jīn (1/2kilo). They are soft and very sweet. To pick a good one look for one that is soft and wrinkly on the outside. When you push the skin with your finger it should give way quite easily. This is caused by the naturally higher sugar content, which means this sweet potato will be sweeter and will also have a slight caramel taste on the inside close to the skin. These are the best ones. You will often find corn sold at the same time, yù mǐ, 玉米. Each corncob costs 3rmb — they are sold by number, not by weight.
Sweet potatoes and corn — that’s almost half of a Christmas dinner for little more than 5 kuai. (Or, if you want, you could pay RMB 1,688 … per person.)
Cross posted at likealocal.